Passengers shaken after loose seats on 3 American Airlines flights
Reports: AA admits to seats coming loose on 3 flights; FAA finds other seats loose on planes
According to published reports, seats have now come loose on three separate flights in less than one week.
The New York Post reported Tuesday morning that AA flight 2206 from Vail, Colorado to Dallas, Texas had a loose seat issue on September 26.
The report also notes that Miami-bound flight 433 was forced to return to New York's Kennedy Airport with similar issues on Monday. The reports states that seats A, B, and C in row 14 began moving around less than an hour after take-off.
American Airlines has confirmed that a Boston-to-Miami flight had to make an emergency landing at New York's JFK airport over the weekend due to a row of seats that became loose.
Flight 685 landed safely at Kennedy Airport on Saturday.
"It was a chaotic experience," said one passenger onboard the flight.
Inside the cockpit, the pilots told air traffic controllers what had happened.
"Got an unusual one for you. During climb out, passenger rows 12 D, E and F came loose out of the floor. Passengers are unable to sit in that seat," said the pilot, according to a LiveATC.net recording.
LISTEN: Cockpit audio of Flight 685
"The seats flipped backwards and so people were essentially on the laps of the passengers behind them with their legs up in the air," said the passenger, who asked to be unidentified.
"The seat is loose. We don't need that thing flying around hurting the passengers behind them," said the pilot.
The Fort Worth, Texas-based airline says in a statement that three passengers in the affected row were moved to other seats. No one was injured.
Passengers aboard the flight were placed on another aircraft for the trip to Miami, but the trip was still far from smooth sailing.
"It was actually a complete nightmare," said the passenger. "The line was a mess. I mean, people were hysterical trying to figure out their connections."
The airline, which is conducting an internal investigation to determine why the row of seats became loose, issued a statement, saying: “An initial internal investigation into why a row of seats became loose on an American Airlines Boeing 757 bound from Boston to Miami on Saturday has indicated that there could be a possible issue with a certain model of seats and how they fit into the tracking used to secure the seats. Out of an abundance of caution, American has decided to proactively reinspect eight 757s today that could possibly have this same issue. The seats were installed by American maintenance and contract maintenance. The issue does not seem to be tied to any one maintenance facility or one workgroup.
“This afternoon (Monday), the company flew engineers, tech crew chiefs, and inspectors from its Tulsa maintenance base to New York to evaluate the aircraft and determine the next course of action to correct the problem.
“We are in contact with the FAA. They are aware of our internal review.”
"This is certainly an airline that's had more than its share of problems," said Seth Kaplan with Airline Weekly.
It says the FAA was notified of the problem and the airline's internal review. The FAA also issued a statement, saying: “The Federal Aviation Administration is looking into two separate incidents involving American Airlines Boeing 757 jetliners that were taken out of service after passenger seat rows became loose in flight.
On Saturday, American Flight 65, on a flight from Boston to Miami, diverted to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and on Monday, Flight 443, from JFK to Miami, returned to JFK without incident after loose seats were discovered. The airline's initial inspection of each aircraft found other rows of seats that were not properly secured.
Preliminary information indicates that both aircraft had recently undergone maintenance during which the seats had been removed and re-installed. Including these two airplanes, the airline has taken eight aircraft with similar seat assemblies out of service until they can be inspected."
An American spokesperson said the airlines doesn't believe that either incident is related to the ongoing labor issues.
Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.